Mar 19, 2012

Disrespecting Husband

By Miriam Islam


Allah Swt, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, created the bonds of marriage as a permissible, enjoyable means of uniting two strangers to live with each other in love and peace. Theoretically this exists, but sadly the reality is that it isn’t always maintained and many Muslim marriages are breaking down.

Everyone is demanding their rights yet they fail to think from the other angle and neglect to fulfil rights of others. When a situation becomes very black and white people forget the essence of Islam; justice, forgiveness and humility. These qualities are lost in an argument and so a cold war ensues between husband and wife.

Keeping in line with rights, the greatest right of a woman is to be treated with kindness, but on the other hand the greatest right a husband has over the wife is Respect. Anger and displaying angry behaviour is a very disrespectful way of behaving with someone. Similarly provoking and angering the husband tantamount to disrespect. Marital breakdown is usually a consequence of anger and acting upon anger in hastiness.

In order for a wife to respect her husband she must first understand and avoid factors that anger him. Anger manifests itself in different ways but it tends to have a deeper underlying cause. A wife must try to decipher what the root cause of the anger is before any solutions can be reached. The following are a few reasons as to what can anger a husband, ranging from minor to major causes:

Hunger - Hunger can make someone very irritable and short tempered. A husband expects food to be ready when he comes home from work. This may seem insignificant, but if this happens regularly then it might be an indication of his displeasure at his wife’s time management/ organisational skills and lack of consideration.

• Neglecting Children and household duties - A wife may have commitments elsewhere, eg. Work, dawah activities, personal hobbies. As a result children or managing the household is neglected. This indicates that your husband may be displeased with your priorities and may want you to reassess your commitments.

Work/money problems - Finance can usually cause a huge strain on marriages, and the pressure of being the breadwinner can take its toll. However if the wife is oblivious to the husbands situation and spends endlessly then this means she doesn’t acknowledge his effort and is abusing his generosity. Alternately the husband may be having problems at work that he can’t discuss with his wife, leading to feelings of inadequacy and fear of redundancy.

Family problem - He may be having problems with his own family which he can’t tell you about, but which affect him deeply. Being in the dark will only make you question and misunderstand and it may anger him at your lack of sensitivity.

• Mistreating someone he loves - You may not have showed good conduct or hurt someone who he loves and respects, such as his family members or close friends. Your words/actions may or may not have been intentional, but someone was hurt by it and informed your husband, thereby causing him hurt and anger.

Hurting him with previous words/actions - Maybe you had said or did something quite a long time ago that really hurt him, but which he didn’t mention at the time. Consequently he had let the issue grow and took his anger randomly out on you at a later point.

Making him feel inferior - You might be a very confident, successful person, who is good at multitasking. If you are arrogant in your approach then this will convey through your words/actions that you have no need for him or be undermining his authority. To him it may indicate your lack of gratefulness and recognition of his qualities and capabilities.

Committed a sin/not doing Fard duties - You may be committing a grave sin that your husband may or may not be aware of, but punishment is such that it can indirectly affect your marriage, particularly if a woman is unchaste. Alternately you may not be doing your fard obligations e.g. salah, not observing proper hijab or engaging in unislamic activities, music, dance, etc.

Socialising/going out too much - Your husband might dislike who you socialise with or that you socialise too often. He may think that you’re taking advantage of his leniency or that you’re never available when he wants you to be. This may result in neglecting him and the household. Husbands have a sense of gheerah (exclusivity/possessiveness) so he might feel this is infringed if you go out so often.

Not fulfilling his desires - You may be not be fulfilling his desire properly or refusing to do so altogether. This can lead to frustration and anger, as well as a cause for him to look elsewhere.

• Not allowing him to spend sufficient time with children/family - You have a problem with him spending significant amounts of time with the children or you deny him access to children (if separate), or you dislike him spending time with his own family or someone else he is close to.

These are only a few suggestions, there are of course many more which are unique to each marriage. This is in no way suggesting that men are blameless in these scenarios, rather it is a step towards understanding why we blame them. Neither should women feel that it is biased towards men as it just presents one side, it is general advice for women as a whole to try and understand from the other angle. To present from the woman’s angle would have to be discussed as a separate issue.

Wives should bear the following advice in mind when trying to resolve a problem. Understand to the best of your ability what the problem is, accept where you have gone wrong even if it may be hard to. Have the most sincere of intentions to please Allah and your husband, do plenty of nafl (optional salat), and recite often and earnestly make dua that Allah swt gives you patience and understanding. Pray that Allah reunites your hearts and brings you closer. If ones husband is still angry, apart from seeking help, try reminding your husband of the following ayahs by either reciting it or placing somewhere respectable he would be able to frequently see it.

“And live with them (women) in a beautiful manner. If then you are displeased with them (then know) perhaps you dislike something. Wherein Allah has created abundant goodness in it”. (Surah An Nisa 4:19) 

“Who repress anger...Who pardons men... Verily Allah loves Al-Muhsinun (the good doers) (Surah Al Imran 3:134)

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post below! :)


It sure was an amazing read and yes I agree to all the possibilities you've discussed..I know its really hard for us wives to admit that we are very often doing one/more of the actions above n displeasing our husbands( i know I have done it a cpl of times n Im ashamed of it)but I'd say its never to late to say sorry regardless of the fact how wrong the husband himself was..It might actually melt his heart n make the anger go away as its a lifetime relationship n since its not a blood relation a lil misunderstanding goes a long way..Me and my husband have been going thru the same discussion lately and after reading this article I actually scrolled up again to cross check if my hubby dint write it:P lol
A reality check indeed...may Allah grant all of us the courage n strength to understand and respect this relationship and all our relations..inshAllah
jazak Allah khayrun

I think this article is baised and unfair to women in general, my biggest issue with people who write about Islamic marriages is to most of the time put,food and cooking on the top of the woman's priority list, when is it's not woman's Islamic duty to cook for her husband. I think this would work much better if women were reminded that cooking for their hubby is completely vulontory good act that they will get a lot of reward if they did it for their husbands.

Asalam-o-alaikum. MashaALLAH I very good post. Honestly, nowadays people do not have Sabr and they expect everything to be perfect. All I would like to say to the couples is that have patience & try to rectify your mistakes & realize that no one is perfect. 

Rest ALLAH knows best

Salam. I always read the husband is this and this and this. How does a wife that has performed all; above and beyond what is required of her; yet the husband still seems to think he can find fault? This is the only question I have yet to find a response for.    Walaikum salam

Masha Allah, very well written. Although I am a brother, but I read it after it was recommended by someone. Honestly, sometimes some brothers remain very patient and tolerant and their wives take this to their advantage. Its very hard to believe, but at times a wife can become your worst enemy, they will have no love and respect for anyone. In their ignorance and pride, they'd want to destroy anything in front of them. The same may be true for brothers as well. But in reality, I have seen marriages break, due to wives. Its a sad reality. May Allah give us all hikmah and hidayah to protect this beautiful relationship of marriage and maintain its sanctity. 

Salaam I know I raise my voice in anger and it displease my husband and I am trying to work on that. I have done everything my husband want me to including wearing hijab. However, my husband flirts and pursue women who don't wear hijab, he does everything that is haraam including partying, visiting women homes picking up his ex girlfriends, etc .Since I accepted Islam I try my best to follow the rules. Now I am starting to get frustrated because I make all the sacrifice to thread the right path and its not appreciated. I pray that Allah guide us all

mashaAllaah i loved this article... it is so true and a great reminder also. jazaakillaah khayr

You article was good but I feel that we all have a responsibility we are trying to please our husband but forget to please Allah, everything has a balance since marriage is half of our deen.  The other half it's for us to be more practicing Muslim if we were we don't need to read such article since the Quran and sunnah came as a guidance to live our life's.  my need his need what about our needs, what happen to communication, trust, maintance of the household, parenting, Teaching, Learning.  We all have a job to fullfill in the marriage,

"All of you are shepherds and each one is responsible for his flock. A leader of a people is a shepherd and responsible for them. A man is a shepherd over his family and is responsible for them. A woman is a shepherd over her husband's house and his children and she is responsible for them. And a servant is a guardian over his master's property and is responsible for it. So all of you are guardians and are responsible for your charges." (Bukhari)

"Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere." (2:153)
"Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, 'To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.' They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance." (2:155-157)

Asalaamu Alaykum sister Fhanhaz, 

Yes there are many advice to the wife in this article and in general because in Islam, the husband has a very important place in the wife's live. To displease your husband without valid reason is to displease Allah. But that doesn't mean that the wife doesn't have any importance. The wife also has much importance in Islam. There are many hadiths and some ayahs which speak specifically  to husbands and how they should treat their wives. The husband  should treat his wive/s with kindness and mercy. He should take care of them to the best of his ablities, and he should fear Allah when it comes to his responsibilities in taking care of his family. The famous hadith of Prophet Muhammad is: The best among you is the one who is best to his family. There are many more hadiths similar to that one. Husbands should be patient with their wives and vise versa.  

Selinapersaud,dear sister, As salaam O Alaykum, sister congrants on accpeting Islam. I am a revert too and i know where you are coming from.Sister, MashaAllah you have done well by wearing hijab.  But sister remember we gotta do what we need to do for the sake of Allah, for seeking appriciation from Him alone, none else.  Please continue to do good and be patient as Allah (Swt) says that: Oh you who believe seek help through patience and prayer.Even though your husband doesn't chnage it seems that he has good in him.

Selinapersaud, i said he has has good in him bcoz he asked you to wear hijab, naudbillah there are husbands who force their wives to remove the sister carry on advicing him and make dua for him , remember dua chnages decree.

Asalaamulaikum dear all. Jazakallah khair to you all for your constructive comments. I see this article has generated discussion and bought to surface many personal  issues which is a reality for some and not so for others.

Yes the article primarily addresses women, but as pointed out in the article it is not intended to hold women blameworthy for every problem that comes up in the marriage, obviously men hold a large degree of responsibiity towards the marriage as well. It must also be noted that marriage is such a huge topic that it is impossible to cover from every angle in one article. Understanding what makes a woman tick would require a whole volume not just an article!  Perhaps this can be tackled at a later point in a different article.

This article was a humble effort to help women understand just a few issues that may trigger off an argument, it doesnt represent the whole picture in any way. I cannot answer why men behave in a certain way even when they have a wife who does above and beyond, except that the men also need to have taqwa as much as women do. Only the man at fault  can answer why he hurts a woman so much when she has done evrything he has requested. perhaps he needs to be asked if he has done  everything that Prophet saw taught? Lastly If one is having problems then further advice needs to be sought from family and perhaps scholars.  Allah knows best, forgive me if I have offended anyone.

This article was very good, but as a really career oriented convert muslim it is kind of impractical for me.  I don't feel that the household duties and children should only be the woman's responsibility.  I know most muslim women will jump all over me for saying this, but it is just the way I feel.  If a husband really loves his wife he will never force her to lay with him when its not mutual.  How selfish is it to expect your wife to be at your beckon call.  I agree we should definitely respect our husbands and talk to them in a nice calm way, but as an engineering student I am extremely busy and I am so lucky mashallah to have a husband who cooks dinner when have been at school for 6 hours, then come home and study for 6 more hours.  I really did get some good pointers from the article mashallah.  I just feel that women have a voice that should be heard, and that a womans body is hers and that her husband should respect her equally.  It not fair for a man to have the mentality that if his wife is not pleasing him, then he can go back out on the prowl.  Women can't look elsewhere, so before the husband does that he should work on the marriage.  My marriage is a love marriage and a partnership.  We are a team, and make every decision together, we even share a bank out.  He is my best friend and my soul mate.  I am so blessed to have a man who treats me with total respect and equality.  

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